New Delhi: Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday discounted claims that the monthly rent of her government bungalow in Lutyen’s’ Delhi was lowered on her request, asserting that the amount was determined by the then BJP government in 2002 and “was the same as for others” in the category. A statement issued by her office said that in December 1996, Priyanka, the daughter of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and an SPG protectee, had rented a private accommodation for her residence but was directed to occupy a government accommodation on security grounds.
“In pursuance of all rules and regulations of the then BJP Government, the market rate/special license fee of Directorate of Estates, has been punctually and regularly paid by her for the entire duration of her occupation of the government accommodation, including the period in question.” “The said rent that she paid was determined by the government and was the same as for others in her category,” the statement said, after a report claimed that she managed to convince the Vajpayee government to reduce the monthly rent of her 2,765.18 sqm house in Lutyen’s’ Delhi from Rs 53,421 to only Rs 8,888 as it was “beyond her paying capacity.”
The BJP on Saturday took a dig at Priyanka over the issue, saying it was “laughable” that she could afford building a bungalow in Himachal Pradesh and travelling abroad but found the rent money prohibitive. Asked about Priyanka’s statement that she paid the rent determined by the then government and same as others in her category, party’s National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said it might not be illegal.PTI
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